The great Pope Gregory XVI against the Revolution in the Church September 21, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, history, manhood, Papa, Revolution, secularism, sickness, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
The Revolution – for it is ultimately one – has been brewing for a long time. It has even found souls within the Church quite willing to support it going back hundreds of years. For it was many Catholics who brought about the first great outbreak of the Revolution – the protestant revolt. Men being the fallen creatures we are, temptation to change the Church from the indefectible institution founded by Christ that she is into something more worldly and amenable to men and their corrupt desires is a constant. Even in the direct aftermath of the hellish chaos and persecution of the French Revolution – part of the second great outbreak of the broader satanic Revolution – there were many within the Church who still desired to reach some kind of accommodation with the many-tentacled Revolution. It is to those souls that Pope Gregory XVI spoke in his epochal encyclical Mirari Vos. A few selected excerpts (most emphasis mine), in which you might be amazed – or not – to find the very same targets of the Revolution that we see emphasized today.
The Revolution never changes, because its author never changes:
5. We speak of the things which you see with your own eyes, which We both bemoan. Depravity exults; science is impudent; liberty, dissolute. The holiness of the sacred is despised; the majesty of divine worship is not only disapproved by evil men, but defiled and held up to ridicule. Hence sound doctrine is perverted and errors of all kinds spread boldly. The laws of the sacred, the rights, institutions, and discipline — none are safe from the audacity of those speaking evil. Our Roman See is harassed violently and the bonds of unity are daily loosened and severed. The divine authority of the Church is opposed and her rights shorn off. She is subjected to human reason and with the greatest injustice exposed to the hatred of the people and reduced to vile servitude. The obedience due bishops is denied and their rights are trampled underfoot. Furthermore, academies and schools resound with new, monstrous opinions, which openly attack the Catholic faith; this horrible and nefarious war is openly and even publicly waged. Thus, by institutions and by the example of teachers, the minds of the youth are corrupted and a tremendous blow is dealt to religion and the perversion of morals is spread. So the restraints of religion are thrown off, by which alone kingdoms stand. We see the destruction of public order, the fall of principalities, and the overturning of all legitimate power approaching. Indeed this great mass of calamities had its inception in the heretical societies and sects in which all that is sacrilegious, infamous, and blasphemous has gathered as bilge water in a ship’s hold, a congealed mass of all filth. [Oh Lord, can we please have a Pope like Gregory XVI again in my lifetime! PLEASE?!?]
7. Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: “the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty” and the admonition of Pope Agatho: “nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning.” ……..
9. Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced.
10. To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.”………[I trust the ears of the vast majority of Germanic prelates are burning. Paging Cardinals Marx and Kasper……]
11. Now, however, We want you to rally to combat the abominable conspiracy against clerical celibacy. This conspiracy spreads daily and is promoted by profligate philosophers, some even from the clerical order. They have forgotten their person and office, and have been carried away by the enticements of pleasure. They have even dared to make repeated public demands to the princes for the abolition of that most holy discipline. But it is disgusting to dwell on these evil attempts at length. Rather, We ask that you strive with all your might to justify and to defend the law of clerical celibacy as prescribed by the sacred canons, against which the arrows of the lascivious are directed from every side. [I don’t know if I’d say too many bishops today “strive with all their might”]
12. Now the honorable marriage of Christians, which Paul calls “a great sacrament in Christ and the Church,” demands our shared concern lest anything contrary to its sanctity and indissolubility is proposed….. However, troublesome efforts against this sacrament still continue to be made. The people therefore must be zealously taught that a marriage rightly entered upon cannot be dissolved; for those joined in matrimony God has ordained a perpetual companionship for life and a knot of necessity which cannot be loosed except by death. [Ahem. I wonder what Pope Gregory XVI would think about the recent Motu Proprios] Recalling that matrimony is a sacrament and therefore subject to the Church, let them consider and observe the laws of the Church concerning it. Let them take care lest for any reason they permit that which is an obstruction to the teachings of the canons and the decrees of the councils. They should be aware that those marriages will have an unhappy end which are entered upon contrary to the discipline of the Church or without God’s favor or because of concupiscence alone, with no thought of the sacrament and of the mysteries signified by it. [Which is true, but no justification for pretending that half of all marriages are invalid.]
13. Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that “there is one God, one faith, one baptism” may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that “those who are not with Christ are against Him,” and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.” Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: “He who is for the See of Peter is for me.”……..[Which remains true even when we are faced with such a calamitous situation as we are faced with today. There is simply no remedy to be found by looking outside the Church to the Orthodox or whatever]
14. This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty. [Some may say “But look at the wealth of the West today.” To which I would retort: give it time.]
15. Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth…….
20. Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty.
21. But for the other painful causes We are concerned about, you should recall that certain societies and assemblages seem to draw up a battle line together with the followers of every false religion and cult. They feign piety for religion; but they are driven by a passion for promoting novelties and sedition everywhere. They preach liberty of every sort; they stir up disturbances in sacred and civil affairs, and pluck authority to pieces. [Once again, oh to have such a pontiff again, fearless of the world, the flesh, and the devil, willing to proclaim the Truth in season and out, and never trembling before the opinion of mere men!]
Unfortunately, the revolutionaries were never fully driven from the bosom of the Church, but in spite of periodic purges and constant urgings to the contrary, were permitted to multiply in far too many dioceses and eventually to burst forth in a dominant plurality in the mid-20th century. This was not particularly due to a want of duty and vigilance on the part of the popes from Pius VIII to St. Pius X, but due to the insidious nature of the Revolution, its enormous and still-growing influence on the culture, and the failure of subordinate authorities to properly execute the duty the various popes laid before them. It was also, of course, due to the diabolical influence of the secret societies and the eventual penetration of the Church by large numbers of their adherents and fellow revolutionaries (in particular, the communists under Stalin). Most of all, the Revolution is the product of satan in his eternal war against God and His Church.
Thus, prayer and penance remain our ultimate weapons, even as we take advantage of modern means of communication to (hopefully) inform souls of a different time in the history of the Church, with better leadership and clearer explication of Doctrine. I pray you find this useful, and strongly recommend you read the rest.